From: madeleine bernstorff (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Apr 14 2008 - 04:57:23 PDT
Please spread this!
-- madeleine bernstorff -- ------ Weitergeleitete Nachricht > Von: Adele Eisenstein <email suppressed> > Datum: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:03:54 +0200 > An: <email suppressed> > Betreff: Intercultural dialogue: Cultural Policy Slovenian Style > > I would like to draw your attention to the last episode in what seems to be a > systematic and persistent governmental policy of trying to root out film > culture in Slovenia. > > > > The proposal of the Slovenian Film Fund TO CUT ALL FUNDING for the Isola > Cinema festival --with the argument that “its content is inappropriate > for > co-financing”-- is not only a gross injustice, it is also an insult to > film > culture, to culture, to intercultural dialogue, as well as to the respect for > the legal system of the EU presiding state. > > > > Allow me to demonstrate: > > Kino Otok/Isola Cinema is an annual international film festival, that in its > four years of existence “has been building a formidable > reputation”, as Kieron > Corless wrote in Sight & Sound last year. He concluded his festival-report > with calling Isola Cinema “a well nigh-perfect festival”. All of > the directors > who have attended the festival have spoken fondly and enthusiastically of > Isola Cinema. Everybody –to name just a few of them: Apichatpong > Weerasethakul, Abderrahmane Sissako, Lav Diaz, Abolfazl Jalili, Mika > Kaurismäki, Christopher Coppola, Shaji Karun, Pablo Trapero, Lisandro Alonso, > Girish Kasaravalli, Peter Mettler, Roger Gnoam M'Bala, Valeska Grisebach-- > have expressed their sincere wish to return to the “Island of > Cinema”. There > is ample evidence to prove that the Isola Cinema festival has an impeccable > reputation when it comes to both public appreciation and critical acclaim. > > For the past four years the municipality of Izola and the Slovenian Film Fund > have underlined the significance of this festival by financially supporting > it. > > > > On January 16th 2008 the acting director of the Slovenian Film Fund, Mr. Igor > Prodnik, sent the festival a letter informing it about the results of its > application for financial support for the 5th edition of Isola Cinema. The > commission who assessed the festival's application gave the project 99 out of > 100 points. The commission concluded that “with the Isola Cinema > festival the > applicant has kept on demonstrating that it is a strong and on > programme-quality-based festival-event, making it one of the important film > events in Slovenia. In evidence of this we state the exceptional popularity of > the festival with the film experts, as well as with the numerous foreign > guests of the festival, and with the Slovene and foreign public, which > responds to it with an ever-increasing interest. The commission unanimously > proposes that the Isola Cinema festival should be supported as much as > possible”. > > Based on the commission's report, the available funds and the order of > precedence by which the application had been received Mr. Prodnik proposed to > co-finance the 5th edition with an amount of 10.000 EUR. > > Since this represented a cut of nearly 50% (in 2007, the Film Fund decided in > the end October to support the festival --that took place in May-June earlier > that year—with an amount of 19.800 EUR) the festival wrote a letter of > protest > within the procedurally approved term of three days, asking the commission to > reconsider their decision. > > > > We did not receive any reply to our letter of protest. > > Instead another commission was appointed (this time presided by Mr. Jambrek, > current head of the Programme Dept. of Slovenska kinoteka/Slovenian > Cinematheque) who reassessed our application and came to an entirely different > conclusion. > > > > On April 8th, the –very same-- acting director of the Slovenian Film > Fund, Mr. > Igor Prodnik, wrote the festival another letter with as heading: “This > letter > replaces the letter of January 16th 2008”. It informed us that the new > score > given by the new commission was considerably lower. Instead of 99, the new > commission gave the same application a score of 74,34 on 100. The conclusion > read: “The members of the commission have the opinion that despite its > relative media recognition, the content of the project is inappropriate for > co-financing”. > > > > Cutting all national funding of Isola Cinema severely jeopardizes the future > of one of the most important international film festivals in Slovenia. > > > > Since Isola Cinema is a film festival that has “intercultural > dialogue” on top > of its agenda, we consider this decision to be an insult to the mere idea of > intercultural dialogue. This is all the more painful, considering that 2008 is > the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue”, and considering > that this is > happening in the country currently presiding the European Union. > > > > As the procedure described above illustrates (including –to call it > euphemistically— “highly irregular” practices, such as > changing a selection > commission in mid-procedure; sending out two different commission-reports with > very different results in response to the very same call; not responding for > nearly 3 months to procedurally approved terms of protest), we also believe > that this is an insult to the mere idea of legality. It is the exact opposite > of transparency of cultural policy. > > > > As with the previous letter by the Slovenian Film Fund, we have --of course-- > also this time immediately sent a letter of protest to Mr. Prodnik and CC-ed > it to the Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti. > > We sincerely hope the decision will be reconsidered. However, based on the way > Isola Cinema has been treated in this procedure, it looks like a lot of > pressure will be needed to be able to reverse that decision. > > > > Therefore we would like to ask you to spread this information to the Minister > of Culture of your country, or to everyone who --and every institution that-- > could possibly put pressure on those who could reverse that unfair decision: > > Igor Prodnik – email suppressed – acting director of the > Slovenian Film > Fund of the Republic of Slovenia & Director-General of the Directorate for > Media at the Ministry of Culture > > Dr. Vasko Simoniti – email suppressed – Minister of Culture > > Janez Jan¹a – email suppressed – Prime Minister of the Republic of > Slovenia > > > > > > Sincerely, > > > > > > Koen Van Daele > > Director Isola Cinema > > > > PS: we would appreciate if you could also CC any letters of protest to: > email suppressed ------ Ende der weitergeleiteten Nachricht __________________________________________________________________ For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.